Business Banking Benefits
A business bank account is important for keeping business and personal finances separate. This greatly simplifies routine accounting tasks as well as making year-end tax preparation much less work.
Business accounts are simple, quick and inexpensive to open – making the decision to get one a no-brainer.
But did you know that having a business bank account can offer small business owners lots of other advantages as well?
1. Get help with loans, lines of credit – even a business credit card
2. Merchant services for credit card processing
3. Payroll tools, even online payroll
4. Assistance in other areas of business management, such as accounting form preparation, budget planning, cash flow management, information on protecting your intellectual property with patents, trademarks and copyrights and more.
Small Business Accounting Software
Business accounting is like tax – you can’t avoid it. It’s a task that needs to be done, and the trick is to make the job as easy and painless as possible.
How to Save Money
If your business is small enough, you can often save money by doing your own accounting. Quickbooks has some easy-to-learn and use software programs that you can install on your computer and manage your bank accounts, payroll, checks, invoices, company mileage reports and more.
How Can it Help Tax Returns?
Instead of waiting until the end of the year to organize receipts and calculate expenses, your software can track them throughout the year. Come tax time, you can simply print out a profit-loss report (and many others) which makes completing your tax return a breeze because you have all the numbers you need to use in the form.
Quickbooks Simple Start is just as the name implies – “simple”. Quickbooks Pro has multiple and more advanced features. You can get the latest version of software or buy last year’s version and save a few bucks.
How to Apply for a Business Bank Account
When you go the bank to open your business bank account you will need to prove that you are a business, so you will want to proper documentation. The documentation needed will depend on the structure of your business (sole proprietorship, corporation, LLC or partnership).
Provide a certified copy of the fictitious name certificate
if you are a sole proprietor and the account title will be in the business name (and the business name isn’t your name, i.e Apple Computers).
To avoid unnecessary fees and bank charges…
Figure out which type of account will best suit your business needs. Ask these questions:
- How many checks and deposits do you need to write per week?
- Can you handle all of your transactions by ATM or online?
- Does your business need additional banking or financial services like longer business hours or automatic bill pay?
Do a little research, and you may discover that a basic business bank account can easily handle all of your business needs – and costs you virtually nothing.
Where to go:
Some big banks that offer business banking services include Wells Fargo, Chase, Citibank and Regions Bank. You can also work with a smaller local bank that can give you more personalized service. Credit unions are another option for business banking that can provide essentially the same services.
Corporate Bank Accounts
When you’ve decided which bank you want to use, set up an appointment with a business banker, or sometimes you can just walk in to the bank, and they can take care of you. Because opening a corporate bank account requires additional documentation, you want to be prepared with the following:
(1) An Employer ID Number (Tax ID Number)
If you plan open a corporate bank account or pay wages to employees, you will need an Employer ID Number (EIN) also known as a Taxpayer ID Number (TIN).
To get your EID, you’ll want to get a copy of the federal SS-4 Form Application from the IRS. You can even download the form online from their website. Then, complete the form and mail it back to the IRS.
(2) Certificate of Incorporation, issued by the Secretary of State for the state in which your business is incorporated
(3) Customized Corporate Seal (included in your Corporate Book)
(4) Photo Identification (typically a driver’s license or passport)
(5) Corporate Resolution that specifically designates you a the authorized individual to act on behalf of the company
Where to Get Cheap Business Checks
As a small or home-based business, you’ll want to set up a separate bank account for business transactions. You’ll most likely want checks so that you can pay vendors, employees, monthly bills, leases, etc.
How to Save Money:
Your bank can supply checks for you, but you can usually get them for much cheaper through a business check supply company. A check supply company specializes in checks, so you’ll also have many more options of styles sizes and formats from which you can choose.
Compare prices and products of a few check supply companies to find the right choice for you at the best price.
How to Save More Money:
The more checks you order, the more money you can save. Another way to save money is to order a plain check without any customized printing, and then print checks out from your computer to include your company name, bank account number, etc.
This is what I did, and I actually use the same check paper to print checks for business and from my personal account. (another way to save money!) You don’t need two different types of checks.
Do You Need Check Writing Software?
Keep in mind that in order to do this, you’ll need special software that can print bank account numbers. check with your current accounting software – you may already have what you need.